Raphoe put on an impressive second-half performance to grind out a hard worked 5-3 victory against Belfast Harlequins on Saturday.
Report by Charlie Collins
Goals from Johnny Long, Tommy Orr, Simon Goudie and Stephen Cleverly was enough to cancel out Luke McClelland’s first-half strike.
It was a highly competitive league match, especially in the second half, with both teams having several chances to win the game.
However, it was Rodney Bates Raphoe who had the edge in the final quarter of the game to seal the three points.
Luke McClelland got Harlequins off to a fantastic start after some brilliant pressure from a well-worked corner, following quick-fire passes and McClelland was there to fire home.
The visitors cruised through the opening 25 minutes in complete control but as space opened up Raphoe went on the counter-attack, George Patterson and Tommy Orr were both involved before Keith Meehan sent his effort wide of the mark – all of a sudden the momentum changed.
A minute later, Tommy Orr sent his shot just over, but the impetus of the game had changed in Raphoe’s favour, posing much more a threat going forward and it showed just before the half an hour mark.
Tommy Orr, who was driving the Raphoe attacks, sent Johnny Long through and the Raphoe man pulled off a fantastic finish to level the scoreline.
In the second half, Raphoe carried their positive energy seen at the end of the first into the second period and it proved worthwhile as they took the lead for the first time in the game.
Trevor Patterson did well before finding Tommy Orr who did the business from close range – 2-1 Raphoe.
The second period remained keenly contested and both defences proved their worth, holding their own from slick attacking moves.
However, it was Raphoe that had the nerve to take risks and it paid dividends as Simon Goudie added Raphoe’s third after 58 minutes and a few minutes later Stephen Cleverly added the fourth to kill any chances Harlequins – or so it seemed.
As Raphoe was in cruise control they fell asleep and let Harlequins back into the game, McClelland securing his second.
However, it was all in vain as Raphoe’s George Patterson extended Raphoe’s lead and they eventually secured the three points despite Stephen McGrath’s late consolation goal for Harlequinns.
Raphoe Men: David Moore, Alan Meehan, Tom Eaton, Simon Goudie, Stephen Cleverly, Evan Lyttle, Keith Meehan, Trevor Patterson, Gan McGonagle, Geroge Patterson, Johnny Long, Tommy Orr, James Wilson, Adrian CrumleyTags: